Gilani chairs meeting to review ties with US
AGENCIES ISLAMABAD PRIME Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Tuesday chaired an important meeting of the Defence Committee of the Cabinet (DCC) to review Pakistan’s troubled ties with the United States, Dawn News reported.
Heads of all three forces, chairman joint chiefs of staff committee, ISI chief as well as federal ministers from defence, interior, foreign affairs, finance and information ministries also attended the meeting.
The meeting reviewed country’s stranded ties with the war ally US and will also reflect on ways to come to a ‘face-saving deal’ that would allow both sides to move beyond the Salala issue which has been holding up the crucial relationship for months.
Islamabad shut its Afghan border crossings to Nato supplies after the deaths and its relations with the United States, already frayed by the discovery of Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, plunged into their worst ever crisis.
As the government is convening back-to-back meetings of the country’s highest defence policy coordination forum —Defence Committee of the Cabinet— and the federal cabinet on Tuesday and Wednesday, it was more than clear that the moment of decision in ties with the United States, which have been in an indeterminate state since the November 26 Salala incident, has finally arrived.
At the two meetings, the civil and military leadership is expected to decide on how to go ahead with resumption of normal relations with Washington, including the reopening of Nato supply routes.
Meanwhile, in a related development, addressing Karachi Bar Association members on Tuesday, Jamaat-e Islami Ameer Syed Munawwar Hassan said that “being a friend of the United States was dangerous to friends of the US.” “Declaring India as Most Favoured Nation (MFN) was a planned strategy of foreign forces to allow direct access for India into Afghanistan.
“Restoring NATO supply routes from Pakistan would be tantamount to self-imposed genocide. In order to deal with the situation, the government should ensure that resolutions passed unanimously by the Parliament be implemented in letter and spirit,” said Munawwar Hassan. He said emerging challenges called for an accord among political parties, civil society and lawyers.
“The role played by lawyers for restoration of the judiciary was absolutely laudable,” he said. Munawwar Hassan also said that the US was the major cause of problems in the country.